Letters Week of Sept. 17, 2009



Need to End Hunger: It's Even More Crucial Now

Before Rosh Hashanah, when we examine our deeds over the past year, there is one more thing we can do that will make a difference in the lives of poor and hungry Americans.

Under the Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act of 2004, every five years, certain federal nutrition programs expire unless they are reauthorized. This year, WIC (the special nutrition program for Women, Infants and Children) will expire on Sept. 30 — just two days after Yom Kippur — unless reauthorized.

President Obama set a goal to end childhood hunger by 2015. It won't happen unless Congress sets that goal in motion this year — this month! –by renewing WIC.

Grasp the chance to make a difference. See or call your congressman or woman. For the sake of our nation's poor and hungry, tell him or her to reauthorize and improve the nutrition program for women, infants and children now, and urge your family and friends and the organizations you belong to to do the same. 
Ted Mann, Eve Klothen, Ruth Laibson 
Officers of MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger 

Center City Offers More Resources in Etz Chaim

Kudos to the Jewish Exponent on its excellent article on the resurgence of Jewish life in Center City (Cover Story: "Center City: Central Address for the Century," Sept. 10). It is encouraging to see increasing numbers of Jews looking to connect with Judaism.

Another great resource for Jews in Center City is the Etz Chaim Center. It enables Jews to deepen their knowledge of Judaism and Torah, to expand their literacy and to help them gain a heightened spiritual perspective of their precious legacy. No prior background, knowledge or observance is required; Etz Chaim is suited to all.

The downtown location is at 1420 Walnut St., in the heart of Center City, and has four rabbis who offer a rich array of Jewish learning options.

For more information, call 215-546-8672 or go online to: www.etzchaimcenter.org. 
Rabbi Dovid Wachs 

Cost Is Paramount When Discussing Day Schools

I would like to share a few thoughts on the cover story "Numbers Speak for Themselves," in the Sept. 3 issue.

I believe the notion that Hebrew day schools should charge tuition comparable to preparatory schools is incredibly dangerous for the day-school movement. Hebrew day schools must stand for academic excellence; however, that Rebecca Egolf of the Partnership for Excellence in Jewish Education believes that day schools should not apologize for charging a similar price can prove problematic.

The clientele of Hebrew day schools and prep schools fit into a very different demographic. This push to increase the tuition will exclude middle-class Jewish families from the day-school community; these folks can't and won't consider sending their children to day schools as a result of such an increase.

For example, an annual tuition of $20,000 per child will be cost-prohibitive for a family with, say, three children, when their annual tuition expenses will top out at $60,000 per year! This will likely result in this family's decision not to send their children to day school.

Families such as these comprise so many in our community; their lack of participation because of the price tag would be a true loss to our movement.

Day schools should stop increasing costs and absorb tuition expenses. These institutions simply cannot charge the same prices as prep schools. 
Rabbi Ira Budow 
Abrams Hebrew Academy 


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